Fed Watch: Next stop, Congress

02-01-2017

The lead-up to today’s release of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement had all the drama of the bland façade of the Washington, D.C., Fed itself—and it delivered. The Federal Open Market Committee, as expected, did not hike the target range of its federal funds rate, which remains at 0.50-0.75%, or hint about what might transpire at the next meeting in March. February could shed more light on what policymakers are thinking, as Chair Janet Yellen testifies in front of Congress (the semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins report). There might be real drama then, as it will be her first visit since Donald Trump was elected. The vote for the statement was unanimous and didn’t include any mention of reducing the Fed’s balance sheet. A nonevent if there ever was one for the central bank.